Honour 'a surprise'
Jimmy Wallace of Geraldine said he was "surprised and pleased" to be appointed a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year honours.
The award is in recognition of his services to the arts and conservation.
Mr Wallace, now a semi-retired lawyer and consultant, moved from Wellington to Geraldine in 1980. Though he is not an artist, he has always appreciated the arts and taken an interest in them.
Mr Wallace has been involved in various South Canterbury events, including the festival at Peel Forest and the Aoraki Arts Festival, as well as in the Geraldine Players and the Aigantighe Art Gallery.
Nationally he has been a board member of Arts Access Aotearoa, which arranges arts programmes for the disadvantaged, and has served as a member of Creative New Zealand (formerly Arts Council), first from 1990 to 1994 and again since 2009.
He has served as a board member of the Aoraki Conservation Board in 2007 and chaired the planning sub-committee. His membership expires in April 2014.
He is also active on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and the South Canterbury Energy Efficiency Trust.
"I believe there's been a huge upsurge in creative activity in the period I have been fortunate enough to be involved. The arts sector is a surprisingly large part of the economy," he said.
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